Juicy heart-shaped strawberries have much more to offer beyond sweetness and flavour, they are full of health benefits.
The Strawberry is called ‘The Queen of Fruits’ In Asian countries because it is a sweet superfood. Compared to fruits like apples, oranges or bananas, they have the highest amount of nutrients.
“Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent & sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.” – Jasmine Heiler
I ♥ Strawberries and am very happy when they are in season and growing in my garden. Often they don’t get into the fridge as I eat them as while picking them.
10 Health Benefits of Strawberries
- Helps burn stored fat:
The red colouring contains anthocyanins; they stimulate the burning of stored fat. There was reduced weight gain in animals fed a high-fat diet. – Research, The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
- Boost short term memory:
The anthocyanins boost short-term memory by 100 % in eight weeks. – The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
- Low Calories – High Fiber:
One cup contains only 49 calories.
- Eases Inflammation
By lowering blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. – Research at the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Lower cardiovascular disease
Flavonoids which are responsible for the colour and flavour of the strawberry have been found to help.
- Promotes bone health
They contain potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium which are important for bone health.
- Prevent oesophageal cancer
Studies indicate the potential of freeze-dried strawberry powder for preventing human oesophageal cancer.
- Anti-aging properties
Filled with have biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. Also contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging.
- Good for weight loss:
The compound nitrate found in a strawberry promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body helps with weight loss.
- Promotes eye health:
Eating three or more servings of fruit like this may lower the risk of macular degeneration. – Study in Archives of Ophthalmology.
They are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits. They are packed with antioxidants, lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Also, full of essential vitamins and minerals, they are also sodium, cholesterol and fat-free.
Contains 54 calories in 1 cup of strawberries (sliced, 166g) which is 1/3 of the calories in a banana.
Read more about Strawberry Nutrition and Calories
We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. – Golda Meir
Cautions for some people:
Oxalates which are commonly found in animal, plants and human being may sometimes cause health problems. Strawberries contain a reasonable amount of oxalates, but when it became too concentrated in our body fluids they will be crystallized causing serious problems on our health.
It is advised that people with existing and untreated gallbladder or kidney problems may want to avoid having them. Research shows that oxalates may interfere with the absorption of calcium in our body. But a more in-depth study will need to be conducted to prove this.
History of the Strawberry
They have grown wild throughout the world for a long time.
- 234 B.C there is evidence that they grew wild in Italy.
- 1300 – France began cultivating the strawberry for use as a medicinal herb.
- 1400 – European monks start using them for their illuminated manuscripts.
- 1500s references of cultivation of the strawberry became more common. People began using it for its supposed medicinal properties.
- 1588 – Were discovered in Virginia by the first Europeans when their ships landed there.
- 1643 – Early settlers in Massachusetts enjoyed eating these berries grown by local American Indians who cultivated them.
- Late 18th century – First garden strawberry was grown in France.
- 1835 – First American strawberries were cultivated.
- 1900’s – California began growing them and now produces 80% of the strawberries in the US, one billion pounds a year!
Fun and Interesting Facts
- Folklore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and shares it with the opposite sex; you’ll soon fall in love.
- There are more than 600 varieties that differ in flavour, size and texture.
- Strawberry designs are carved in medieval stone masons as the sign of perfection and righteousness. These designs are often carved on altars, around the top pillars in cathedral and churches.
- The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love, because of its heart shapes and red colour.
- Madame Tallien known as the pronounced figure at the court of Emperor Napoleon was popular for bathing in the strawberry juice of 22 pounds of strawberries.
- Legend has been told that strawberries were named by English children who picked, strung it on grass straws and sold them as “Straws of berries”.
- They belong to the family of rose together with apples and plums.
- The strawberry is not classified as a berry. Blueberries and raspberries have seeds inside while strawberries have their seeds outside.
- They were once thought to be an aphrodisiac and were served in soups to newlyweds in 13th century France.
- Ancient Romans used them alleviated symptoms of fainting, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, halitosis, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
- At Wimbledon each year, strawberries and cream are eaten between tennis matches by properly attired English.
How to Buy The Best!
Buy ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES!
If I cannot find or afford organic ones I eat another fruit instead.
Do not buy inorganic ones; nearly 60 different pesticides have been found on a strawberry. They are always one of the top EWG’s Dirty Dozen Foods EWG’s Dirty Dozen Foods the fungus prompts farmers to spray, and pesticide residue remains on berries sold even at farmers markets. They are the most chemically intensive crop in California.
Now, here is what to look for once you have found organic ones.
For full nutrition and flavour, buy them fresh. They need to be firm, plump, have a deep red colour, and have green caps and with a light fragrance.
Once picked, do not ripen further so do not pick those that are dull in colour or have green or yellow patches as they will be sour.
Then small strawberry is sweeter and more flavourful. Eat your strawberries as soon as possible.
If you are buying them in a pack, check the package to make sure that there are no signs of mould. Even if there is one moulded strawberry do not buy them. Research has shown that moulds are linked to health problems and even cancer. Fruits and vegetables with high moisture content can be contaminated below the surface. http://www.foodreference.com/html/mold-on-food.html
How to Store Strawberries
It is best to consume them as soon as you harvest or purchase them. Keeping them in the refrigerator will not improve their quality.
- They should be kept at room temperature for a few hours. Anthocyanin which is responsible for the red colour of the berries are heat sensitive, this is the reason for the browning of strawberries under warm temperature.
- The unwashed ones should be stored loosely, cover with plastic wrap and should be placed on the coldest part of your refrigerator for about 2 days maximum as they lose nutrients quickly.
- Only wash them when ready to consume as they easily perish. To wash the berries, place them in a colander and rinse them under running cold water. Do not soak them for they will lose their colour and flavour. Do not remove their caps until after you have washed the berries,
- If you want to freeze them; wash them gently, let them dry and remove the caps. Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Place them in a zip-top bag once frozen. Make sure to suck out all the air and seal. You may keep them in your freezer for up to 6 months.
How to Grow Strawberries
Every June and July when these berries appear into gardens and the farmer’s markets here in Canada, I am reminded of growing a large patch in England. One year I picked 30 pounds. Now, I have a little strawberry patch in my garden that I have been eating every day for 2 weeks.
Learn how to grow your own: How To Grow Strawberries
How to Enjoy Strawberries
As if you need to be told! Easiest is to simply wash and eat them. Yum!
Put them in fruit salads.
Few of My Favourite Strawberry Recipes
Strawberry Peach Vegan Ice Cream – I had fun creating this easy to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker. It is healthy with no big cup full of sugar, just lots of fruit and coconut milk so you can enjoy your summer.
Strawberry Crumble – This delicious crumble recipe is sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. I make this from the strawberries I grow, which are of course organic.
Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie – This strawberry peach green smoothie recipe is filled with health benefits and is super easy to make. And of course yummy. It makes an excellent snack during your day.
Strawberry Jam is Refined Sugar-free and Delicious – You will be surprised how this refined sugar-free, packaged pectin-free, recipe tastes so good! We do make our own pectin from the lemons though to help it stick together.
Strawberry MilkShake A classic!
Learn more about some of the healthiest vegetarian foods you will always want to have in your pantry or growing on your deck.
READ: Superfoods – Over 100 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Have in Your Diet and learn more about the variety of Superfoods we think you should be eating.